Bangladesh has said it is against joining any military alliance including Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) led by the United States.
The issue of joining Quad was surfaced during the visit of Chinese defence minister Wei Fenghe to Bangladesh recently. According to the Chinese official news agency, Mr Fenghe requested Bangladesh not to join Quad during his meeting with Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid Advocate.
Commenting on the issue, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said last week that Bangladesh has no intention of joining any military alliance.
“We are against joining any military alliance but we are in favour of a free and open Indian Ocean,” the minister said when asked to comment on Chinese defence minister’s call to Bangladesh for not joining Quad.
“Bangladesh wants free trade through sea routes,” he added.
The minister, however, said that Bangladesh has already joined Chine-led Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) for economic development, and also agreed to take part in the economic cooperation under Indo- Pacific Strategy, an initiative promoted by the USA.
Meanwhile, on Monday, Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming in a rare comment said that bilateral ties between the two countries will be substantially damaged if Dhaka joins Quad in any form.
Mr Jiming said China sees Quad as an alliance against the country. It is a small club of 4, and everyone knows it is to counter China- and that is why Japan has joined hands with the US.
USA, Japan, Australia and India are the members of Quad, which is often termed by many as the ‘Asian NATO’.
But others said Quad is a loose grouping that also has non-military aspects like Covid cooperation.